Recent Press Releases

Sioux Falls, SD —  Yesterday Senator John Thune visited the Standing Rock Reservation to see first-hand the work being done as a result of Operation Dakota Peacekeeper. Senator Thune was given a tour by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Ron His Horse Is Thunder, Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services Patrick Ragsdale, BIA Special Agent in Charge of Dakota Peacekeeper Elmer Four Dance, and Incident Commander for Operation Dakota Peacekeeper Darrold Medrud. The tour included the Dakota Peace Keepers Command Post and the community of McLaughlin.

"Operation Dakota Peacekeeper appears to be making a real impact on the atmosphere in and around McLaughlin. The work that is being done by Operation Dakota Peacekeeper in coordination with local officials is reducing response time for officers and is resulting in a reduction in incidents. People are beginning to feel safer and local law enforcement is getting the assistance they need to address the crime problems on Standing Rock."

In addition to the tour, Senator Thune met with several tribal council officials and tribal members at the Standing Rock Tribal Headquarters.

"The surge of law enforcement is having a positive effect on the conditions and the outlook of local residents. It will be important that we work together to continue this environment at the end of the 90 days. Everyone from local residents and leaders to tribal officials in Washington have a stake in seeing this program be successful. I appreciate the work that has been done and believe we must carry this momentum forward in making our reservations safer. Safety needs to be established so that we can address other areas of concern on our reservations."

Thune was given a star quilt from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in appreciation for his efforts with Operation Dakota Peacekeeper and also had an opportunity to visit the Grand River Boys and Girls Club in McLaughlin.